LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 19 (PIA) — Newly-minted International Grandmaster (GM) Oliver Barbosa ruled the 3rd Gov. Amado T. Espino Cup Chess Tounament held on December 17 and 18 at the Provincial Training and Development Center here.
Barbosa collected a total of 6.5 points, conceding only a draw with fellow GM Mark Paragua in the fifth round, to secure the title.
International Master Emmanuel Senador also scored the same but had to settle for the second place as Barbosa had the superior tie-break score.
Barbosa and Senador received P12,500 each.
Senador gained prominence in late 1980s by once ranking second in the Philippines, only behind GM Eugenio Torre.
With 6 points each, Paragua and National Master (NM) Raymond Salcedo tied for third to fourth place and each received P6,000.
Tied for fifth to twelfth place, with 5.5 points each, were FIDE Master Haridas Pascua, Dick Gicain, NM Roberto Suelo Jr., NM Mari Joseph Turqueza, IM Oliver Dimakiling, IM Ronaldo Nolte, NM John Alcon Datu, and Jeffrey Ravago.
Notable game in the tournament was one played by local veteran master Bonifacio Natavio of Dagupan City who overpowered NM Roland Llavanes to score a stunning upset.
Other local players who scored an upset included Prince Aquino and Fidel Labuanan against IM Barlo Nadera, Manuel Margajay against NM Gary Villanueva and Winnie Boquiren against NM Rudy Ibañez.
The kiddie category, Kyz Llantada of Manila made a total of 6 points, tied with Ynna Sophia Canape, but the former kept the title based on higher tie-break score. Each received P2,500.
Category prizes winners were Bonifacio Natavio for Top Senior Prize; Haridas Pascua, Top Junior; Kristine Mae Mariano, Cristine Paragua and Ernali Bayot, Top Female Players; and Pascua, Gicain and Labuanan, Top Pangasinan Players.
The seven-round tournament, organized by the Pangasinan Chess Club and the provincial government, was the last of the four events in the annual Pangasinan Chess Festival that began September this year, which included a chess clinic, age group championship and provincial championship tournaments.
The tournament drew in a total of 220 participants, which included two GMs, five IMs, two FIDE Masters and seven NMs. Participants were from the NCR, Bohol, La Union, Pampanga, Ilocos Norte, Baguio City, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Tarlac and this province. (ANL/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)